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Tips on turning jealousy and envy into motivation?

Community Member

Hello there Beyondblue people,

Sorry in advance if I have posted something of a similar topic before, my memory is not the greatest. Essentially I have this issue of getting envious/discouraged but the success of the people I know. The primary example is about music and guitar. I found out tonight that my friend who is 4 years younger then me and has only being doing music for 3 years is already playing a lot of live stuff and everyone is loving her, she also sings plays uke and some keyboard, not to mention she has started composing/creating songs. I found out that she doesn't even know any theory or what she is playing yet she has progressed so far seemingly easily.

I have started practising guitar daily about a month ago but have been playing since I was 16, now 21. Anyway hearing how she does all this without even knowing what she is playing and seemingly easily doing so many things is strangely discouraging for my own efforts. I've been trying to figure out how to turn that into inspiration/motivation instead of discouragement and making me feel like a failure and I am too old to ever do anything cool like be on stage.

3 Replies 3

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi there Deltius,

I can understand how you feel. I used to struggle with that kind of thoughts as well with my art; hearing/seeing how much younger artists can draw so much better than myself, and how they're making it big by being able to monetize their passion. It brought my confidence down a lot, and I started questioning why do I even bother to draw. But deep down inside, I can feel there's something special about drawing. I really want to continue drawing, and explore creativity in ways that are very different to everyone else. I want to be able to fill sketchbooks with sketches and drawings of daily observations, as well as create really cool character illustrations.

After figuring out what I want from drawing, I don't really see the point of comparing myself with other people's success anymore. We can never be the people we're comparing ourselves with because, that's just impossible Even if you make an exact copy of that person's body, and inject your soul into them. That's because you are who you are, and they are who they are; individuality.

Knowing that, what we can do is gain inspiration / motivation from others, learn about what are the things they did to improve themselves, and apply those practices to help us achieve our own goals. There are many other musicians whom you can gain inspirations from as well. The only person we should be comparing against, is ourselves from the past. Our own success, is defined by ourselves, and not by other people's success/expectations. So long as we continue to learn and improve ourselves, we'll be able to achieve our goals even if it seems farfetched.

Wishing you all the best Deltius, perhaps someday will see you on Australian Idol or some other talent shows, Happy to chat more and listen to you as well.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Deltius..

Please don’t be sorry, It’s okay and doesn’t matter if someone else has posted the same in the past..

Firstly I just want to say, that you are never too old to appear on stage...you are young..only 21..

My late husband played in a group, up until the age of around 55..He never took a music lesson in his life, could read music, he played “by ear”..maybe your friend has the same ability as my late husband...he played lead guitar..

Deltius, You sound like you have a huge passion for playing music, The thing is and it’s true that there will always someone that is better at doing things then other people...no matter what it is...

I think that the best way to get more motivation for yourself is to just enjoy your journey through this special phase in your life...by thinking of your friends advancement, you are taking away from you, the enjoyment of learning and playing music...It’s the journey of learning and playing that should be for you a fun time...

Keep trying and keep playing..Something my hubby used to do, was put on a tape...now it’s cds and play along with it...not the same, he would play what he felt in his heart...

You have a dream Deltius, follow that dream with all your heart and soul...Please don’t ever give up your dream because you feel that your friend is better then you...Why not get together and play your guitars together..it would be both fun and maybe a learning experience for you...

Talk here anytime you feel up to it..
My kindest thoughts dear Deltius,


Community Member
These 2 answers are extremely helpful. I think it is something that will take time to unbind and re-work in my brain. I don't know anyone and the few friends I have, cause me to feel inadequate and useless (they don't actually do anything it's all in my head). I love that they are doing all this stuff and that my friend in music is progressing so much it's awesome, it still makes me feel like I can never achieve performing live or doing anything like that. I'm stuck in my own head and it sucks. Self-sabotage is awful and I hate it but I do it anyway.